Happy New Year everyone!
As one year ends and another begins, I love to sit back and reflect on things. How did the year now ending “feel” to me? What am I proud to have accomplished? What was lacking and what would I like to do differently in the upcoming year to change this going forward?
I try to keep in mind the following quote used by visionary people like Henry Ford and Tony Robbins:
If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you will keep
getting what you’ve always gotten.
So…we need to change. Change our mindset. Change a few of the things we’ve always done that ultimately hold us back from living the life we want to live. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t seek out fresh ideas, I sometimes want to change something but I don’t know how or where to start.
There are so many books out there that can give us fresh perspectives and ideas. I love to read and my bookshelves are full of great books. I thought it would be fun to look over the titles again, pull out the ones I remember that truly inspired me the most and share a list of some of my favorites. Picking favorites was harder than I expected. Eventually, I did select a variety of titles that touch on two different key topics.
Career and Finances
You may have noticed none of the books in my list are fiction (other than part of “The One Minute Millionaire”) even though I love to read and write fiction. Most fiction books are written strictly to entertain. Of course, there are exceptions. Humans have used storytelling to share wisdom throughout the ages.
Honestly, I loved working story lines into my first book “Whispering Pines” that offer inspiration to readers. My editor had me cutting parts where I got a too preachy! My goal in my novels is to both entertain and to hopefully get people thinking about how they might be able to apply some of the lessons my characters learn in the story to their own lives. A little soul searching never hurt anyone!
Does anyone else have some favorite books you would care to suggest? I’ve committed to reading at least one new fiction and one new non-fiction book a month during 2018. Honestly, I would love to read multiple books a week but I want to leave plenty of time for writing this year.
May you all start this New Year out strong and strive to live your best life. Cheers! Kim
It’s been an interesting year full of new experiences. As we near the end of 2017, I plan to find some quiet time during the week between Christmas and New Years to sit down and decide what I plan to accomplish in 2018. Not just what I “want” to accomplish or what I’d “like” to accomplish. I’ve been down that path before. 2017 taught me that we can accomplish so much more when we truly focus. I’m no longer satisfied to pursue my dreams “someday”. Someday needs to become today.
A beautiful journal with an embossed cover bearing the quote “some pursue happiness, others create it” usually sits on a shelf in my home office. Yesterday, I threw it in my travel bag while packing to come home for Christmas. Inside is a list of questions I recorded in the journal a year ago. I honestly can’t remember if these were questions I dreamed up or if I ran across them somewhere and simply appreciated the wisdom behind them enough to write them down. Regardless, the questions are a great place to start when deciding what I plan to accomplish in 2018 and I wanted to share them with you. I hope they give you some things to think about too. I would love nothing more than to help you create your own happiness in the coming year.
Every single one of us would answer these questions in different ways. How we answer them also evolves over time. We all have our own unique definition of what “happiness” means to us. This is so important to remember. Embrace your uniqueness. Take the time to figure out what makes you happy and then search for ways to incorporate those things into your everyday life. Often it’s the little things that give us the most joy and take much less effort in comparison to the joy and fulfillment we receive when we incorporate them into our lives. Then again, sometimes it’s the big, scare-the-hell-out-of-us things we need to pursue. Plan for both the big and the little things, mix things up, find something to smile about every day, and spread joy to others.
For some strange reason, I love even-numbered years. I’m promising myself 2018 will be a year to remember. Some things I plan for now will happen because I will decide to do them, put a plan in place, and follow through on the plan. Life will also intervene, as it always does, and some things will shift as I move through the weeks and months ahead and may not come to fruition. But I love the quote by Les Brown – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.”
I’m also a firm believer we can grow and learn from others and one of my favorite ways to do that is by reading amazing books. Next week I’ll share some of my favorites with you. If you have any suggestions of books you’ve found helpful in pursuing your own vision of a better life, please share!
Wishing you a blessed holiday and some quiet time for your own reflection - Kim
Heading into the week of Christmas, I am broken hearted. Beautiful twinkling lights and the soothing sound of carols aren’t enough to lift my spirits. The loss is still too fresh, the feelings too raw. But despite the ache, I know our many family traditions will help brighten the days ahead. Even thinking about the many things we love to do together during the holidays helps bring a smile to my face. Times like this remind me of the value of building and maintaining traditions. Traditions offer a base of comfort and stability in an ever-turbulent world.
We always kick off the holidays with massive decorating efforts and this year was no exception. Growing up, Mom always put time and energy into making sure our home was beautifully decorated for Christmas. I could never skimp on the decorations. Even if I wanted to, our kids wouldn’t allow it. Instead of doing less decorating this year, we planned ahead. I used to wait and decorate right after Thanksgiving but now we get it done earlier. Yes, we are that family. My husband tried to convince me not to turn the lights on too soon. He didn't want our neighbors to see how early we put up our decorations this year.
Some years I’m inspired to create handmade gifts. These are often the gifts people remember. One year, I made simple pillowcases for all the kids. I used the softest fabric I could find in colors I thought each would appreciate. I love it when one of them tells me it’s still their favorite. This year, I’m excited so many of my friends, family and even complete strangers are giving my book to their friends and loved ones as a gift. My reach has expanded!
In our house, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without plenty of sappy Christmas movies playing on the television as we bake and wrap gifts. We’ve already watched Elf, The Polar Express, and as many of the new Hallmark movies as we could squeeze in. I’m still hoping I’ll be able to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I’ll just have to keep a box of Kleenex close at hand.
December also means baking sweets and treats. The peanut-butter cookies with the chocolate stars are done, as are the spritz cookies. We’ll still find time yet to bake the cut-out sugar cookies and create edible masterpieces with our powdered sugar icing. This year, I’ll also try my hand at the chocolate frosted cookies. Mom mastered them once she figured out that one secret ingredient missing from the recipe Grandma passed down. Fingers crossed that I can get close since they are a holiday staple.
I love opening all the holiday cards we receive from family and friends. It’s fun to see how kids have grown and to read the uplifting snippets people chose to share. Our box of cards still sits on the dining room table. I ponder how to handle our Christmas greetings, compiled the weekend of Thanksgiving, before heaven gained another angel.
We’ll gather with family in celebration. Gifts will be exchanged. Games will be played. We may even go sledding if the weather cooperates. We will attend Mass to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
We will do our best to enjoy this blessed holiday season because that is what she would want us to do.
Now it's your turn. Please make the time to celebrate those traditions you hold most dear, even if you haven’t thought about some of them in years. Traditions can add depth and texture to your days. Maybe now is even the time to start a new tradition. Strengthen your own foundation.
I would love to hear about your favorite traditions. Please share below.
Happy holidays from our home to yours, Kim
Sometimes life insists we allow ourselves a pause. To take a step back from the everyday and focus on something unplanned but of great significance to us. This is what our family must do right now.
During this hectic holiday season, I challenge you to allow yourself the gift of “a pause”. Enjoy the little moments life has to offer. Call someone you miss. Hug someone you love. There might not be time to do these things later.
Today, focus on what truly matters. Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!